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Eur J Biochem. 1996 Nov 1;241(3):772-8.

Ole e 3, an olive-tree allergen, belongs to a widespread family of pollen proteins.

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Departamento de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular, Facultad de Química, Universidad Complutense, Madrid, Spain.


An allergen has been isolated from a saline extract of olive tree (Olea europaea) pollen. The protein consists of a single polypeptide chain of 9.2-kDa, as determined by mass spectrometry. It contains neither tryptophan nor tyrosine residues, and displays an acidic isoelectric point. The secondary structure of the protein, estimated from the analysis of the circular-dichroism spectrum in the peptide-bond region, is composed of 52% alpha-helix, 10% beta-strand, 29% beta-turn and 9% non-regular conformation. The N-terminal end of the protein is blocked. Amino-acid-sequence data have been obtained from peptides produced by CNBr treatment of the native allergen. A partial sequence of 36 amino acids has thus been elucidated. The protein exhibits sequence similarity with pollen allergens from Brassica species and contains a Ca(2+)-binding motif. The isolated protein displays IgE-binding activity against sera of patients allergic to olive-tree pollen. It has been named Ole e 3, according to the recommendations of the IUIS Nomenclature Committee. IgG ELISA inhibition assays with polyclonal antibodies specific for Ole e 3 reveal the presence of proteins similar to Ole e 3 in the pollen from non-related plant species, which may explain allergic cross-reactivity processes.

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